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Rona Dougall: Thousands of men around the world will be thankful that superstar actor did not remain silent like a Rock

Dwayne Johnson (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Dwayne Johnson (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

HE does not, it is fair to say, look like a touchy-feely, let’s-talk-about-my-feelings kind of a guy.

But Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, one of Hollywood’s highest paid stars, known for his all-action roles, revealed another side last week when he spoke of his battle with depression.

“You are not alone” was his message to others suffering mental health issues as he admitted struggling after watching his mother’s attempted suicide when he was just 15 years old.

And his failed attempts at becoming a professional American footballer made him sink into despair.

“Depression never discriminates,” he wrote to his 12.7 million Twitter followers.

“Took me a long time to realise it, but the key is to not be afraid to open up.

“Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone.” It can only be hoped his decision to open up has given comfort to many more people enduring similar anguish.

It is a subject we’ve discussed quite a few times on Scotland Tonight. Most movingly perhaps, was my colleague John MacKay’s interview with cycling superstar Graeme Obree.

Dubbed The Flying Scotsman, he revolutionised the sport with his bike built from an old washing machine, managing to set the world hour record twice and becoming world champion on the track twice.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson urges people to talk about mental health and pays tribute to late brother

But as well as battling the stop-watch he was also battling his internal demons. He spoke openly and frankly about his three suicide attempts and his struggle to deal with depression. He also urged viewers not to be afraid, to seek help and to be open about how they felt.

He’s such lovely man it was heart-breaking to hear what he’d been through.

Others obviously felt the same, as the interview got a massive response on social media, with people praising Graeme’s guts for speaking out and also sharing their own stories.

The Glasgow Cathcart MSP James Dornan was another guest who joined us to talk about his mental health struggles.

He talked about how, being a tough West of Scotland male, it’s very difficult to come clean about your emotions.

But he did. He sought therapy and said it was the best thing he ever did.

Around one in three Scots suffer from mental health illnesses and it used to be that no one talked about it.

How refreshing then it is to hear people like Hollywood tough guy The Rock and prominent figures here at home talk about what used to be so taboo.